versailles, châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon © RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles)

Reims. Minouflet horse butcher, by Paul Castelnau, 1 April 1917 (Autochromes of World War I)

In order to foster horsemeat consumption, the veterinary Émile Decroix sponsored a grand horse meat banquet on 6 February 1856. 132 public figures were invited to the Grand Hôtel de Paris, near the Opera, including Edmond de Goncourt and even Gustave Flaubert. The purpose of this dinner was to highlight the benefits of this meat, which was considered healthy and safe. On the banquet menu: noodles in horse broth, horse salami and sausages, boiled horse, horse à la mode, stewed horse, horse fillet with mushrooms, potatoes fried in horse fat, horse-oil salad and finally, rum and horse-marrow cake. This was accompanied by a Château Cheval-Blanc.